"Takin'Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Apr 15 08:44:50 EDT 2010

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with nine of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a card for VGN
Yardmaster Rufus Wingfield who is recovering in Rehab after a recent fall.

We talked a lot about today being the 100 year anniversary of the
opening of the VGN Passenger Station in Roanoke. At the meeting of the
Roanoke Chapter NRHS tonight, a celebration will be part of the monthly
gathering including a cake and the honoring of several of the Brethren
who plan to attend. Also there will be some VGN displays for Chapter
Members at the regular meeting site, O. Winston Link auditorium at 7:30 PM.

This week's ebay report includes: H. Reid hard-cover book $20.00; Lima
photo of AG #800 $16.26; Fairbanks-Morse Operator's Manual for H24-66
for $144.50; 1949 VGN ticket receipt $19.53; Original slide of VGN #432
with a cab and box car for $15.39; and a VGN red short globe lantern
with "VGN-RY", serial #K-456 for $494.00.

Last week's Report prompted more feedback that most. The Keith Sowder
account of VGN #72 "pulling away" from a passenger train caused the most
discussion. After talking to the Brethren, we have concluded that Keith
may have seen the N&W Cavalier somewhere between Suffolk and Norfolk.
The Cavalier arrived in Norfolk at 7:30 AM on the advertised. #72 needed
to be at the Ford Plant by 6 AM. As with these Reports, I just quote
what I hear and feel that these Brethren probably embellish some of the
accounts of incidents past, especially when there was a competition with
the "W"! The Report last week also induced a lot of emails concerning
the meaning of letters in diesel locomotive classes. Again I only quoted
"Trains" magazine. Kevin EuDaly, publisher of the N&WHS "The Arrow"
talked to two EMD "diesel experts" about this. They responded that the
"F" is definitely for "Freight" in an F7. Also they agreed that the "E"
is for 1800 horsepower in the E8 but added that "SW" was for 600
horsepower with a Welded frame; "SC" was for 600 hp with a Cast frame;
and NW is 900 horsepower with a welded frame etc. After all, this report
of the meeting with the Brethren is suppose to encourage discussion;
besides feedback lets me know if someone is reading this stuff...

For "Show and Tell" I passed around several photos from the N&W
Archives. The first is an EL-2B at the high bridge at Covel with a VGN
auto box on the front probably for #72 and the Ford Plant and a flat car
with a yellow gasoline tanker trailer minus its wheels and tires.
Someone said that the yellow tank trailer was destined for the Naval
Base at Norfolk. The second shot was of VGN B-37 derrick when she was
brand new. The third was a shot in the cab looking toward the firebox of
BA #505, brand new in Lima in 1946. Next was the 113 on a local with a
VGN ballast car, auxiliary tender and VGN caboose and the last is an
EL-2B set pulling a coal train east over the high bridge at Glyn Lyn
with two auto boxes on the lead.

The Jewel from the Past this time is like one in Mahlon Clasbey's
Hamilton given to him by his father, Jerome Clasbey, N&W carpenter is
from July 15, 2004: "Cornbread" Victory talked about the strike of 1923
when the N&W and VGN just 'swapped' workers in Roanoke. He also
mentioned a strike just after the end of WWII when labor agreements ran
out. President Harry Truman called railroad workers 'a bunch of
Russians' and put everybody back to work".

And finally several emails this time included tidbits shared with the
Brethren. One was from a fellow quoting a sign he saw in a mining camp
canteen somewhere in West Virginia: "We don't serve women in this
establishment; you must bring your own". There also was a list of things
about transplanted Northern folks who relocate in the South: "Just
because you move South doesn't mean you can be called 'Southerner'. If
your cat had kittens in your oven, you wouldn't call them 'biscuits'"!

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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